December 20, APTA, the American Academy of Physical Medicine and
Rehabilitation, American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic
Medicine, and American Academy of Neurology met with Jonathan Blum, deputy
administrator and director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
(CMS), to discuss cuts for electromyography/nerve conduction velocity (EMG/NCV)
services that will go into effect January 1, 2013. Other CMS officials attended
the meeting via videoconference.
from the 4 associations explained that the payment cuts to providers would be
between 40%-70%. APTA discussed the fact that most physical therapists (PTs)
who provide EMG/NCV do so exclusively (100% of their practice). Additionally,
many of these PTs serve patients in rural areas and often drive long distances
to treat them. Thus, the deep cuts could have a detrimental impact on patient
access to these services.
The associations requested that CMS phase in
the cuts over a 4-year period to allow time to revisit the values for NCV
studies before such draconian cuts become effective. Blum stated that CMS did
not have legal authority to do such a phase-in, nor would it be possible to
change the values for 2013; however, CMS would consider changing the
values for 2014.
stated that CMS is concerned with any effects that the reductions in payment
for EMG/NCV codes would have on Medicare beneficiaries. He said that CMS would
study the impact of the cuts over the next year. Blum continued that he would
be open to consulting with the organizations over the next month to identify
ways that CMS could track the impact, specifically through claims forms. If CMS
identifies a negative impact, the agency would likely take steps to calibrate
the payment differently for 2014. Further discussion related to NCV studies is
December 6, APTA sent an action alert urging association members to contact their members of Congress
about the scheduled payment cuts. Four days later, APTA and more than 120 other
organizations concerned about the impact of the 2013 cuts to reimbursement for
electrodiagnostic procedures sent a coalition letter to congressional
leadership and committees.
you helping patients who are aged 50 or older to maintain their fitness and
mobility? Are you a PT or PTA aged 50+ who is "walking the walk" by
staying active and mobile as you age? If the answer is "yes" to
either of these questions, APTA wants to hear from you. E-mail email@example.com with a brief
description, and we’ll arrange a brief video recording of you while you are at
the Combined Sections Meeting to post on www.apta.org/FitAfter50.
presented its 2012 State Legislative Leadership Awards December 1 at the State
Policy and Payment Forum in Alexandria, Virginia. For their individual
leadership on legislation advancing or defending Vision 2020 in the state
arena, APTA's Board of Directors (Board) awarded the 2012 State Legislative
Leadership Award to Phil Moe, PT, of
South Dakota, and Emmett Parker, PT, MS,
ATC, of Alabama. Moe was recognized for his work to successfully pass
legislation to limit patient copays for physical therapy. Parker was recognized
for his leadership on the passage of legislation that made Alabama the 47th
state with direct access to physical therapy.
recognition of their long-term commitment to their chapters' advocacy
activities over several years and for consistently providing assistance in the
statehouse, the Board awarded the 2012 APTA State Legislative Commitment Award
to David Morris, PT, PhD, of
Alabama, and Kathleen Picard, PT, of
Minnesota. Morris was recognized for his many years of service supporting the
Alabama Chapter's legislative efforts on a variety of issues, including
infringement challenges, POPTS, and this year's direct access campaign.
Picard's leadership has been invaluable to the Minnesota Chapter's success in
advocating on a variety of state legislative and regulatory issues, including
the recent repeal of a burdensome prior authorization process in the state's
medical assistance program. Read more at www.apta.org/StateAdvocacy/LegislativeLeaderAward/.